BINGHAMTON, NY (WBRE/WYOU)— You often hear us talking about severe storms and their threats– wind, hail, rain, tornadoes. But, how about lightning? According to the National Weather Service, lightning strikes roughly 25 million times per year. The last thing you want, is to be in the way of one of those strikes.
That’s why, this week has been dubbed National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. It’s an initiative that the National Weather Service has hosted for more than 15 years, and it’s helping to lessen the number of lightning-related deaths around the country.
“We were losing, typically, about 70-80 people per year. Now, it’s down to about 20-30,” Dave Nicosia, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS, Binghamton office.
If storms roll in, the first thing you should do is get to a sturdy, grounded building. However, if you’re no where near grounded shelter, your next best bet is to hop in your car.
You don’t want to be anywhere near a tree, or tree roots for that matter. Cloud-to-ground lightning is simply trying to reach the tallest point in its path it can connect to. Often times, that will be a tall tree. As trees contain a lot of water, and their roots spread wide, you can be shocked from the ground if you are standing in the wrong spot.
To learn more about National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, you can click this link.